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CONTINENTAL ILLINOIS NAT. BANK & TRUST v. STANLEY

May 25, 1984

CONTINENTAL ILLINOIS NATIONAL BANK & TRUST COMPANY OF CHICAGO, PLAINTIFF AND COUNTERDEFENDANT,
v.
JOHN R. STANLEY, DEFENDANT AND COUNTERPLAINTIFF.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bua, District Judge.

ORDER

Before the Court is defendant Stanley's motion to transfer the instant case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Stanley has moved for transfer from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Stanley argues that this transfer is proper because it would provide a more convenient forum for the defendant and his witnesses, and would better serve the interests of justice.

I. FACTS

This suit was brought by Continental individually and as loan agent for thirteen other banks against John R. Stanley to recover on Stanley's personal guaranty in connection with loans made by Continental and the other banks to four companies controlled by Stanley.

The complaint alleges that Continental and the other banks loaned the four companies, GHR Energy Corporation, GHR Pipeline Corporation, GHR Transmission Corporation, and Southern Petroleum Trading Company, Ltd., the principal amount of $750 million, and that pursuant to that loan agreement Stanley guaranteed the payment of GHR's obligations. The complaint further alleges that GHR is in default in its repayment of the loans in the amount of approximately $413 million. Accordingly, judgment is sought against Stanley on his guaranty for the unpaid principal and interest.

Stanley, in his answer, interposes as affirmative defenses lack of consideration for the guaranty, duress in securing the guaranty, misconduct of the banks in their performance under the loan agreement, and failure of the banks to mitigate damages. Additionally, Stanley has filed eight counterclaims alleging violations by the banks of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, the Bank Holding Company Acts Amendments of 1970, 12 U.S.C. § 1972(1), and various state laws.

II.

Defendant bases his motion on 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) which provides:

  For the convenience of the parties and witnesses, in the
  interest of justice, a district court may transfer any civil
  action to any other district or division where it might have
  been brought.

In support of his motion defendant Stanley claims that venue is proper in the Eastern District of Louisiana under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(a).*fn1 In his motion, Stanley claims that he resides in Louisiana and that the claim arose in Louisiana, meeting two of the possible three bases for venue.

Having met the prerequisite that the transferee forum be a district where the case "might have been brought," Stanley further claims that the convenience of the parties and witnesses, and the interests of justice dictate the transfer.

III.

The factors that this Court should weigh in resolving the transfer issue include the private interests of the litigant, relative ease of access to sources of proof, availability of service of process on witnesses, cost of attendance of willing witnesses, and other practical factors to make the trial easy, expeditious and inexpensive. Gulf Oil Corp. v. Gilbert, 330 U.S. 501, 508, 67 S.Ct. 839, 843, 91 L.Ed. 1055.

The defendant claims that not only does he reside in Louisiana, but all or almost all of the witnesses he intends to call, and all his documentation necessary to defend this suit are in Louisiana. In effect, Stanley claims that the burden on him should he be required to try ...


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